I'm not saying eliminate the ladder of products, but for to offer something more at the lower tiers. _...‹snip›... There was still a ladder, a lot of people stepped up the ladder, but to those who didn't need to there was still a great full sized affordable pen available.
Where as today I feel like with many companies I have to purchase a more expensive Gold nib version just to get a full sized pen.
Repeat custom is the key to commercial growth, especially these days. Whether the focus is on micro-transactions (of ≤$5) by selling content on Google Play (Music, Movies, Books, etc.) and in-app purchases, cheap(er) products that just come in ever-increasing variety in a few product lines (e.g. Diamine inks, PenBBS pens), or special/limited edition 'luxury' and/or 'collectable' items for relatively affluent consumers, the objective would still be to squeeze as much in discretionary spending out of punters to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars per year per individual. As opposed to needs that can be satisfied with a single purchase, it's better to use people's wants and preferences as the buttons to push, so that they (as only they can) push their own boundaries of what is deemed affordable.
If the market is saturated, and the number of individuals in broader society interested in using fountain pens to write is shrinking, then even if the cheaper products have the same profit margins as the 'top shelf' offerings, it's still better to focus on the small hobbyist subset, and sell them another five thousand pens this year instead of trying to sell another fifty thousand school pens and affordable pens for the same financial reward.
I've considered Sailor a few times given how some rave of their nibs, but nothing they offer appeal to me enough to get a Sailor over their competitors. In the higher end, ie Sailor KOP, the MB 149 appeal to me more. It is more famous, and the Sailor KOP just doesn't have it's own identity. It looks like a MB 149 wannabe. And now with the 149 available with a special edition flex nib, the gap is bigger. _...‹snip›... Just my 2 cents.
I don't know. Our first Sailor is a kaga maki-e hagi-ni-cho
(bush clover and butterfly) in the King Of Pen form factor. I personally don't enjoy writing with it, but it was a present for my wife and she loves it! I've taken very little interest in Montblanc at all, so I'm not sure if it offers anything of the sort in the 149 model or form factor; my wife is a big fan of Le Petit Prince as literature, but Montblanc's pens and inks under that banner somehow fail to appeal to her as much. As for nibs, I'm always in awe of the Naginata specialty nibs — including the majority that Sailor has discontinued producing — and again, I don't know if Montblanc offers (or offered) anything comparable.
And, quite frankly, I've never met any (Chinese-speaking) Chinese fountain pen user who purported that he/she prefers Montblanc over Sailor because of product quality and/or operational performance. Most Chinese I have met in my lifetime have never heard of Sailor, but Montblanc is highly recognisable, and so they buy a Montblanc or five and consider themselves fans. Sailor has a marketing deficiency and an image problem, as far as being a status symbol goes, but not one due being a Montblanc wannabe or copycat.
As always: 1.
Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN
is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment. 2.
I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong.
My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published. 3.
I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write
, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself
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